Thursday, 31 October 2013

Hallowe'en Tunes and Theme Tunes

You will never be able to accuse me of not jumping on a bandwagon whenever one passes.

So, in no particular order, here are my top ten creepy tunes for Hallowe'en (may not be suitable for children or those of a nervous disposition, especially no.9)

1.  Soft Cell - Martin.  This track was inspired by George A Romero's film of the same name released in 1978.  It is very creepy but reminds me of Sunday evenings listening to Annie Nightingale on Radio 1.

2.  The Whistle Song from American Horror Story.  In isolation this is quite a jaunty tune, but the association with the horror series just gets the hairs on the back of the neck just lifting a bit.

3.  The Watch Chime from A Few Dollars More.  Again, in isolation not threatening at all, but combined with images of Lee Van Cleef and Clint Eastwood staring at each other and waiting for the chimes to finish, the tension just builds.

4.  Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells.  No explanation needed I think.

5.  Mike Oldfield - Sailor's Hornpipe.  It's that man again!  This is less scary-scary and more weird scary, like you wouldn't want to be in a room alone with the narrator.  I wouldn't anyway.

6.  Shakespeares Sister - Stay.  A song which can either be taken as being about a partner leaving or a loved one dying, there seems to be two schools of thought here.  I just like the track.

7.  Toyah - Angel & Me.  Every time I listen to this, I get the feeling that the Angel in the song is of the fallen kind.

8.  Hazel O'Connor - The Eighth Day.  A look ahead at what could happen in this over mechanised/automated world.

9.  Stealer's Wheel - Stuck in the Middle With You.  Not sure which is scarier, this version or the Bradley Walsh/Joe Pasquale collaboration.

10.  Ave Satani.  From The Omen, unlike some of the previous entries, this is really not scary when you listen to it out of context, or even in context, but, hey, it's from The Omen, and that kid was freaky!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Lose a stone by Christmas - Week 8

I missed last week's weigh in, and I think I should have missed this week's too!

The 2 pounds I lost in week 6 are back, and they brought a friend too.

On the upside, I have am having a fab time at the minute and so I am not too fussed about losing any weight.  Give it a couple of weeks till I am back to my usual grumpy self and I will be trying to diet again.

Goal: 14lbs
Lost this week: 3lb GAIN
Total lost: 1 lb GAIN
Still to lose: 15lbs

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Sunday Night Mash Up.

I am just back from a fab weekend in Norfolk but I am absolutely worn out now.  I had thought about extending my stay until tomorrow, but seeing as all the morning trains are ALREADY cancelled because strong winds have been forecast I am glad that I didn't.

There were also some issues with the hotel this time, but they really do deserve a post of their own, so look out for that in the coming weeks.

I spent a pleasant few hours in Norwich yesterday, wandering around the castle and the shops, but spent far too much money.

Travelling across London today on the tube was awful, I have never seen it so busy.  And what is it about the tube that makes people want to canoodle? On the escalators.  On the trains.  Everywhere.

Also this week I had to submit my final assessments for both my current ACCA modules, after some fighting with the scanner and various internet issues I managed it.

It is payday Wednesday (yes!) and also Mum and Dad's wedding anniversary, 44 years.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Nursery Rhymes, cute or evil?

I was laying in bed listening to the rain hitting the window and this popped into my head..

It's raining, it's pouring,
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed,
And bumped his head,
And couldn't get up in the morning.

Something that I was taught and encouraged to recite as a child, but it got me thinking.  What is it about?  Are we encouraging children to find pleasure in an old man who, at the very least, has incapacitated himself badly.

I started to think about other nursery rhymes that we were all taught as children.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockleshells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

Here we have a rhyme about Mary I of England, or 'Bloody Mary' as she came to be known.  Silver Bells and cockleshells were instruments of torture, silver bells being thumbscrews and cockleshells being attached somewhat lower on the male body. The pretty maids were the guillotines and the garden the cemetery where the bodies were buried.

Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer's wife
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life
As three blind mice.

Now this is pretty horrific already, three mice, already compromised by being blind, are now left in agony by having their tails chopped off.  However, this is yet another rhyme about Bloody Mary.

The three mice were three nobleman who realised that the Queen was not fit to reign and were discovered and burnt at the stake for treason.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the King's horses and all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Humpty Dumpty was the name of a cannon which sat on top of a fort wall.  The cannon fell and broke, when the soldiers tried to repair it they were slaughtered by their opponents.

Goosey, goosey gander,
Where shall I wander?
Upstairs, downstairs and in my lady's chamber
There I met an old man who wouldn't say his prayers.
So I took him by his left leg and threw him down the stairs.

Again, a tale pretty violent in its own right.  Goosey or Goose is believed to be 16th Century slang for a prostitute, in fact the red bumps caused by STI were known as Goose Bumps (remember that next time you are cold and tell everyone you have Goose Bumps).  The punishment for refusing to convert to the Church of England and say prayers in English instead of Latin as the Catholic faith required at the time, was having your legs tied together and being thrown down the stairs.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.
Then out went th' old woman to bespeak 'em a coffin,
And when she came back, she found 'em all a-loffeing.

And finally, for now anyway, we have a woman who has too many children to cope with, so she starves them and beats them adn then leaves them alone in bed whilst she goes and buys coffins for them.  Lovely.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sunday Night Mash Up

Another weekend in Birmingham, another colour in the hotel.

This weekend was the last weekend of my ACCA tuition for this sitting.  This time I was on the 6th floor of the hotel and the colour is green!  You can't really tell from this photo, but the bed was massive.

And I had some great views over the city.

But boy, did it rain.  I had to go out to pick up an order from New Look which was about half a mile away from the hotel.  These were my jeans when I got back.  I actually struggled to take them off, they seemed to have stuck themselves to my calves.

I managed to dry my jeans out for today, but my trainers were still wet.

Today was the Birmingham Half Marathon which made getting from the hotel to college a bit of a challenge as most of the roads and crossings had been cordoned off, we even had to tell the security person that we were going to college before we were allowed past the barrier and down the alley way.  

This was the square in front of the library before the majority of the runners arrived

This was at lunchtime

Well done to everyone who took part.

I also discovered this week that someone who unfriended me a year ago on facebook is still looking at my profile.  How do I know?  Because they accidentally caught the 'add friend' button whilst they were doing so, they immediately cancelled the request but the notification was sent to my phone.  If someone is going to stalk me, they need to be a bit more subtle about it!

Silent Sunday - 20/10/13

Friday, 18 October 2013

Maybe I have answered a few questions.

I have been watching Inside Broadmoor on channel 5 and it has been very interesting, if a little repetitive.  Chemical Castration, or as it is referred to in the UK Anti-Libidinous Medication, and the drugs used were discussed which prompted me to do a little more research into the medications I take.

I discovered a powerpoint presentation by Dr Karen Harrison of the University of Hull in which she describes the drugs used and the effects and side effects, I have included some of the slides here.

A lot of the side effects will obviously have no effect on me as I am female, but the study seems to focus on males.

I have been taking Depo Provera for a few years now, not, I hasten to add, as a chemical castration.  In the UK, Depo is primarily used as a contraceptive in that it fools the body into thinking it is pregnant therefore preventing the release of an egg and all the associated changes.  Having had problems with my periods since the age of 19 I was grateful for anything that would stop my periods.  I had lost weight, I had had an ovary removed but nothing else helped, this injection did.

I am also taking 100mg of Sertraline a day for my depression.

I am wondering if these medications, although I have only started taking the Sertraline within the past 6 months, are why I didn't find any enjoyment in sex, and why I have no interest in finding a partner.  But as the advantages far outweighed the disadvantages when I started taking these meds, I am reluctant to stop them.  I know I would need to reduce the Sertraline under the direction of the doctor and I think it is too soon for that, but the Depo I could just stop.

I really do not know what to do.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Lose a stone by Christmas - Week 6

Week 6 and I have lost 2 pounds, it's not as much as I would have liked, but a loss is a loss!

I seem to be able to lose weight Wednesday to Sunday and then put it all back on Monday and Tuesday, perhaps I need to change my weigh in day, or would that be cheating?

Ten weeks to go and twelve pounds to lose, can I do it?

Goal: 14lbs
Lost this week: 2lb
Total lost: 2lbs
Still to lose: 12lbs

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sunday Night Mash Up

This weekend I have had a whole weekend with no ACCA studies, this also means that I have spent another Saturday in my own home AND had to make Sunday breakfast for myself again.

Yesterday I caught up on the housework, I had forgotten that I had a blue bedroom carpet, I thought it was discarded clothes and plastic bag colour.  I had bought a hair dye to put on but as I did not remember until after I had cleaned the bathroom I thought I would give it a miss this weekend.

I had to have my two interim assessments in for marking by 2pm Wednesday, after spending a good hour scanning them Tuesday night, my combined scanner/printer/copier is not brilliant, I tried to email them across.  I had no Internet!  I don't know what was wrong with it but I could get connected for a minute or so, then nothing for 10 to 15 minutes.  I eventually got the emails sent, but just to be sure I emailed them again Wednesday morning, I just need to wait now.

I have spent most of today trying to organise the photos stored on my hard drive.  I have tagged all my holiday photos but nothing is found when I try and search one of the tags, I am not impressed.

Next weekend I am back in Birmingham with my ACCA studies, so no breakfast making!

Silent Sunday - 13/10/13

Friday, 11 October 2013

Recurring Dreams, are they trying to tell us something?

I have three recurring dreams, (1) the dream is the same every time, with just a few more details added each time; (2) a different dream each time but set in the same buildings, I have no idea where these buildings are, or even if they exist, I do not recognise them and (3) the dream is different every time, as is the location, but the same man appears in all of them, again I have no idea who he is or if he is real.

Dream No. 1 - This dream is initially set in offices, the initial office is a long rectangle with dark blue carpet.  There are metal shelving units along one wide, all containing electric equipment.  I notice water running down the wall behind the units and dripping onto the electrical equipment.  The end unit is empty apart from a roll of dark blue quilted material which I drape over the equipment and head upstairs to find the cause of the leak.  It is a huge fish tank in the office above.  Then I wake up.

Since the initial dream, the room has changed to more of an hotel room, still long and rectangular with the dark blue carpets, the metal shelving and the electrical equipment, but now with a bathroom added.  Later still, the bath is running and overflowing.

In the dream I am either the person whose room it is and I am trying to deal with the leak and sometimes I seem to be an invisible bystander.  Occasionally a big dog runs into the bathroom and starts drinking out of the bath.

Dream No. 2 - This dream changes every time, but is set in the same location.  It is a large mall type building with a garage attached, a car repair garage rather than a parking garage.  It is set in a large grassed area which looks like an abandoned industrial estate.  There is a single lane in from the nearest road and you exit via a single lane to the opposite direction.  There is a row of houses by the entry to the inwards lane, and their cars are parked opposite to them.  The dreams are too many to mention here, but no two have been the same.

Dream No. 3 - Again, this dream is different every time, it is also set in different locations every time too.  The only constant is a man that appears each time.  He is tall, with long hair tied back in a ponytail, and wears black jeans, boots, a long leather coat and a leather hat, not a cowboy hat, more flat crowned than that, something I would consider an Australian Outback hat.  I always got the impression that he was younger than me.  

In the last dream we actually spoke, and it turns out he is a couple of years older than me and originally from New Zealand.  We talked and we hugged.  Then I woke up.

Do any of these dreams mean anything?  I've never had a recurring dream before.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Lose a stone by Christmas - Week 5

Week 5 and I have lost a pound, so I am now back to where I was 5 weeks ago!

It's a bit annoying as when I had my midweek weigh in on Friday, I had lost 3lbs but have since managed to put 2 of them back on.

I shall soldier on.

Goal: 14lbs
Lost this week: 1lb
Total lost: nil
Still to lose: 14lbs

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sunday Night Mash Up

Last night I spent the first Saturday night at home for four weeks and it felt odd!

I have had three weekends in Birmingham studying for my ACCA and one long weekend in Wymondham so when I left Baskerville House after class yesterday I had to remind myself that I was going back to the station as I automatically turned towards the hotel when I left the building.  I had actually thought about checking myself in somewhere but decided it was an unnecessary expense considering I am supposed to be saving for a car.

And it wasn't until I woke up this morning that I realised that I would have to make my own breakfast too. In the various hotels I have been having sausages, eggs, croissants, petit pain, butter, jam, lattes or any combination of the above.  Today I had toast.

Next weekend I am at home, with the three weekends after in either Birmingham or Wymondham.

Nothing much else has happened this week.  There are things going on at work which obviously I cannot talk about, but which are not doing anything for my mental well being.  I was feeling better after I had my anti-depressant medication doubled, but over the last couple of weeks I feel that all the progress I had made has been lost.  I even considered phoning in sick on Friday but that wouldn't have made any difference to the problem, just made it harder to go in tomorrow (Monday).  Hopefully things will be resolved soon, fingers crossed.

I have finally made a decision with regard to my fancy dress costume for the Ghostbusters themed Hallowe'en party, I am recycling an old one!  I wanted a Statue of Liberty costume but being bigger than a size 12 I couldn't find one, so watching the film again, for research purposes you understand, I reaslised that there was a maid in the hotel where the team go to catch Slimer.  I have a maid's uniform from a previous Rocky Horror themed party, yeay!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Credit where credit is due.

A few weeks ago I was quick to write about how much a hotel had changed, for the worse, since its new owners took control of it.

Well I am pleased to report that on my last visit, things have been much improved.

There was no queue at reception, no-one having problems with their bookings.  I didn't even have to leave a deposit like I had previously, whether this was a change in policy or because I hadn't trashed the room on the previous visit I don't know.

I had a corner room on the 4th floor, it was wheelchair accessible and huge!  There was even a wet room in place of the usual shower room.

The theme of the 4th floor is obviously purple, purple carpet and walls, the 3rd floor was blue.

Breakfast was great too, with a new coffee machine that made excellent lattes.

I have two more weekends booked at the hotel, I am not dreading them anymore.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Lose a stone by Christmas - Week 4

Week 4 and no loss, but on a positive note I have not put any more on!

I have two assessments that have to be completed and in to my training provider by Tuesday of next week, so hopefully having a pen in one hand and a calculator in the other will prevent me from having a free hand to shove food into my mouth!

Strange as it seems, now that the colder weather is starting to arrive I should do better with my weightloss (famous last words) as I seem to pick less if I have a hot meal than I do if I have something cold, like a salad.

Anyway, fingers crossed.

Goal: 14lbs
Lost this week: no change
Total lost: 1lb gain
Still to lose: 15lbs